02 Aug Clarity and Making Things Better
Posted at 14:52h in Clarity Amid Technological Disruption
Don Henley, in his 1989 song, “The Heart of the Matter,” offers, “The more I know, the less I understand.” Complementary, Yuval Noah Harari, in his 2018 book 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, asserts that what we need the most right now is not more information but more clarity.
These disruptive times don’t offer clarity in generous supply. Clarity has to be sought, clawed after, hunted down with insatiable focus and hunger. At least that’s how it feels for me, a lifelong learner who wants to not only understand the key pillars of as many different disciplines as possible–but gain insight into how they intersect, synergize, and create a whole that’s bigger than any parts.
Recognizing my relentless pursuit of more knowledge, I’ve grown better at regularly taking a step back and refocusing my gaze upon the bigger picture. This “picture” is really made up of numerous “frames,” such as family, work, finances, writing, health, social media, political change, and, of course, learning. What do I want the most for each of these frames? What am I really trying to accomplish, amid all my activity and absorption of incessant information, data, and opinions?
But I’m stepping even further back, considering how I (and, inseparably, we) got here in the first place. It continues to make sense to me that there’s some sort of higher/ultimate being, god, goddess, divine consciousness, nirvana, original mind, pure or true awareness/presence/nature, etc., that we’re a part of in one sense or another. There’s just too much mystery we can’t fully explain, too much inadequacy in our best attempts at language and description, to give any of us full assurance that our truth is “the” truth.
We’re personally “wired” in ways we can’t fully understand, even though tools such as the Enneagram personality map, Carl Jung’s writing on archetypes, and numerous other assessments are available to give us pieces of the puzzle. All these tools are worthwhile, but none of them will shed complete light upon our most existential pondering. And this ultimate reality, whomever or whatever it is, seems to have some intrinsic goodness that shows up when humanity is at its best, demonstrating qualities such as compassion, equanimity (emotional balance), gratitude, inclusion, joy, love, kindness, and peace.
Ultimately, practicing the development of the best human nature has to offer determines how well we show up in our disruptive culture and economy. And, subsequently, how we help make things better, not just for ourselves but for everyone else.
And knowing how to make things better certainly feels like clarity to me.